ICE Union Casts a Vote of "No Confidence" in Agency’s Leadership


The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council (NICEC), the union representing 7,000 officers and employees of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of Enforcement and Removals Operations (ERO), publicly rebuked the political appointees who run ICE. The union, by unanimous vote on June 11, expressed no confidence in ICE Director John Morton and Assistant Director of the ICE Office of Detention Policy and Planning, Phyllis Coven, and called for their removal.

In a scathing public statement, the union charged that Morton and Coven "have abandoned the Agency’s core mission of enforcing United States Immigration Laws and providing for public safety." The union members further stated that ICE leaders "have instead directed their attention to campaigning for programs and policies related to amnesty and the creation of a special detention system for foreign nationals that exceeds the care and services provided to United States citizens similarly incarcerated."

NICEC accuses ICE officials of concealing the scope and severity of the illegal immigration crisis from the American people. At the same time, claims the union, the agency has exaggerated the successes of enforcement programs, like the Secure Communities Program, even as criminal aliens are released back into local communities.

The union’s statement affirms frequent assertions by FAIR that the Obama administration is refusing to enforce laws against noncriminal illegal aliens. NICEC officials charge that their agents are prohibited from making arrests of illegal aliens who are not already incarcerated for other offenses. These restrictions on their activities amount to "amnesty through policy," states NICEC.

In spite of administration claims of vigorous immigration enforcement, NICEC alleges that only a small number of ICE agents are actively engaged in enforcement, while hundreds of officers perform no enforcement duties at all.

While immigration enforcement and the security of the American people are being neglected, NICEC charges that ICE leaders are "providing resort-like living conditions to criminal aliens."

The NICEC vote of no confidence and the detailed charges against ICE’s leadership provide corroboration by insiders that the Obama administration is bent on dismantling our immigration enforcement capability and pursuing wholesale amnesty, even as it reassures the American people that it is serious about combating illegal immigration.

September 2010